As CIO for The Net-A-Porter Group, Hugh Fahy leads the technology team to deliver e-commerce, retail and publishing platforms across the company's three brands: Net-A-Porter.com, Mr Porter and the Outnet.
Fahy joined the company earlier this year having previously worked as director of development at Betfair where he led a £25m, three-year programme to rebuild Betfair’s 24/7 trading platform and customer system.
He also worked at Vodafone as head of service development where he oversaw the firm's mobile web offerings.
Fahy is the latest IT leader to take the V3 Hot Seat, following the likes of Conservation International CIO Scott Mills and Gatwick Airport CIO Michael Ibbitson.
What does your day-to-day role involve?
A very large coffee followed by a pleasing blend of planning, mentoring, hands-on management, research and strategy.
What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)
I always wanted to be an astronaut but that idea didn’t really get off the ground. I suspect a lack of talent may yet prevent me from playing for Southampton FC. Those aside, I can’t complain.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
I have an iPhone 5C and a Motorola Moto G. I like to keep an eye on iOS and Android.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
Larry Page. PageRank was a jolly clever conceit. I hear he’s done OK since then.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
I’d struggle to look past my mobile phone. Mind you, the way smartphone form factors are trending that may become literally as well as figuratively true.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Taking the role of CIO at the Net-A-Porter Group is easily the highlight. An exciting, innovate British success story with great technology and bags of potential. Say no more.
What was your first job?
My first job was programming Intermec bar code readers on Mars. That was the Materials and Repairs System [Mars] at ICL, which tracked parts for mainframes.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
I and my brothers used to avidly watch Tomorrow’s World, much to my sister Paula’s annoyance who wanted to watch Coronation Street or EastEnders. Those silver-suited future people in the impossibly distant 2000s with their flying cars seemed so far-fetched.
Now a kid in his bedroom can create an app in a couple of weeks that disrupts an industry and transforms the world. The geeks inherited. Sorry, sis.
What will be the next big innovation of the coming years?
Now you want me to play Raymond Baxter? I’m hoping for cold fusion, but I guess we’ll get intelligent fridges.
What do you do enjoy doing when you finish work?
Seeing my little family. My beautiful wife and I started a family latish in life, so with a two- and a three-year-old, I am far too tired to do much else!
What was the last book you read and was it any good?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and, yes, it was a proper page turner.
Who is your favourite band/musician?
Special mention for Paolo Nutini. Something different. Total talent.
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
E-readers or real books?
Both. E-readers for reading, books for the shelves. They look great.
Twitter, Facebook or Google+?
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Avatar. Hopeless predictable plot and wooden acting. But those 3D visuals! Truly unobtanium.
Windows or Mac OS?
Either is fine.
On-premise or cloud?
What’s holding back women from entering the IT profession?
Nothing at The Net-A-Porter Group. We have a very healthy percentage of female IT professionals.
How can we get more school children interested in IT careers?
I am not sure you should pick careers at school. It isn’t like football. I think we should get kids interested in science and maths.
Did you always grow up wanting to work in IT?
See question two above, but astronaut proved out of reach.
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